It always sneaks up on me. I look at those flower beds and they look like just a few weeds need to be pulled. Six inches of rain mixed with plenty of sun and those few weeds multiplied. In the middle of a number of projects I am trying to get some seeds in the ground – Thanks to Micah and Kristen.
Working in the yard always gives me time to think. Sometimes flashes of inspiration long for my Moleskine. Other occasions bring notions worth ranting about. This evening’s weed pulling conjured a rant. You would think weeds would always lead to rants.
Ideally when I pull weeds in the spring I want them never to return. I have put forth the effort. Taken time from other things I would much rather be doing. Pulling these pesky plants up by the roots should certainly put an end to their return. Remnants remain. If I give into my idealism I would immediately quit pulling weeds. In fact, I would pull the flowers, not plant the vegetables and throw grass seed in its place. Why bother? Forget the beauty of the flowers and the flavor of those home grown vegetables. These kinds of thoughts remind me of babies and bathwater. But, I have it in my mind it should be this way. Nothing can change my mind.
My mind soon wandered to the connections with what I do – pastor. A recent series of posts have gone around the blogs I read. John Frye kicked it off with a post titled – The People Formerly Known As the Pastor (TPFKA"TP"). Too many could identify with much of what John wrote. His friend Mark and I have had conversations about their time in ministry together. Jason noted the sentiment of this post was why he was "ready to leave." Undoubtedly he is not alone.
Personally something gnaws at me. Thinking through the many points of agreement with John’s post left me thinking there is something more going on. I often wonder if my tendency to temper my own idealism reveals something of a softness or a desire to "protect" myself. I want to think the one thing that keeps me from bailing beyond the sense of doing what I am "called to" is the realization many of we are who pastor cannot ignore our own complicity in the situation. Bailing often leads to an us vs. them blame sort of game.
Today I was sent a link to a new twist on the series of TPFKATP and TPFKATC. John gives us some thoughts from Dan who is working on getting his own blog. John notes on his blog an interest in encouraging and mentoring young pastors. The balance he offers even when much of his original post represents his own personal experiences gives me hope one day we will all return to stumbling together rather than assuming anyone has arrived at just the right place.
If it does not rain tomorrow evening, I will be back out pulling weeds …